2021 Scholarship Recipient
Scholarship Amount: $10,000
School: University of Western Ontario
On November 8, 2019, my best friend was suddenly taken from me. My mom was everything to my sister and me. It had always been us, three girls, as we are estranged from our father. She was our rock in every single aspect of our life and put us before herself always. She was truly a walking angel on earth. Her passing has left an extreme hole in the many lives she was a part of.
She was a teacher, a friend to many, and the most incredible mom you could ever have. In my first year of the university, I would have never expected that when I came home from reading week that it would end off with having to call the ambulance because I watched my mom not be able to breathe. It was so sudden and completely rocked my world. One second, she was there telling me how proud of me she was and how much she loved me, then the next day she is rushed to the hospital unconscious.
The first year of university was the hardest year of my life as I went back to finish the year with zero accommodations made for me for mental or emotional support. I was lucky enough to have had OSAP help cover some of my costs but now I have student loans that will take me years to pay off. To lower the costs of school I transferred back home to the University of Western and am taking the Social Justice Peace Studies major to become a teacher just like my mom. My sister and I have zero financial support other than OSAP as my father who we no longer talk to was the beneficiary on my mom's pension as well as life insurance because she forgot to take him off. It sounds like a movie but it is the harsh reality my sister and I are faced with.
We both work part-time jobs while attending full-time school. Finances are tough but we live with our aunt who has become our rock to help us get on our feet to complete school and live in a stable environment. I try to sell most of my clothes to make extra money and am also looking to get another seasonal job in the summer. My sister and I number one goal is to finish our degrees and become teachers as that is all my mom wanted for us, to finish our educations. She took on debt herself just to make sure we were getting the best education for our futures. Education before everything has been a rule of thumb growing up, except for mental well-being. My sister and I are doing everything we can to achieve this but finances are an extreme challenge. Our ultimate goal is to make our mom proud and try to impact the world in such a positive way like our mother did.